----------2001 - Thor are fishing

Tors fiskarfänge - urklippt bild In the spring of 2001 I were to participate in the organization Mälaren's show-case on the boat exhibition in Älvsjö and carve a runestone with a connection to water and sea travel.

It became an ornamentation and pictures inspired by the story about Thors fishing. (Read the story further down this page).

After the exhibition the runestone was placed in my runestone workshop in Hovgården. Here it figurate as an example of a well planed runestone. I described it as a postcard, not to be sent in distance, but in time.

Big picture - The boat

Big picture - The stone

Rune inscription:

Hans let carve about his wide travels and structure, the Globe foremost.
(The runestone carries my signature on the side).

The resemblance between runestones and postcards
The ornamentation (the dragons loop) should be properly carved and easy for the eye to look at. This also goes for pictures in a runestone, like this stone. 
I compare the runestones ornamentation and pictures with the face of a postcard that is suppose to lure the beholder to nurse and preserve.

A runestone is kept for thousands of years. It looses its color, becomes overgrown with lichen and moss and if no one cleans it up and repaints it, the runestone will be forgotten for long periods of time.

It's up to the rune carver to award future generations with beautiful and interesting art, if they just nurse the stone. If the rune carver is successful in this, the inscription of the runestone will travel into the future and the owner of the runestone will certainly have his place in the history books.

A grand example of this way of thinking is the Sigurd carving. It is reprodused in almost every book about the Nordic prehistoric times. The rune inscription has no association to the ornamentation and pictures rides along.

Närbild - Tors fiskarfänge under arbete
Runstenen i montern på Älvsjömässan med vikingatida båten Våga och avmålning på Kungsstenen U11 på Adelsö i bakgrunden.
Thors fishing
Freely by Kalle Rune carver

One day Thor travells to Jotunheim, the land of the giants.
There he meets the giant Hymer wich challenges thor in a fishing contest. Thor accepts the challenge but wonder what they shall use as bait. The giant answers that Thor should get that himself. Thor goes out into the giants grounds with oxes andpics out the best of them all, Himinjod, and takes the oxhead as bait.

When they were ready to departure they took Hymer's boat and row out on the ocean.
After a wile the giant thought that they had gone far enough, but Thor kept on rowing. Now Hymer became a little worried and pointed out that they soon would approach the waters of the Midgard serpent. When Thor finaly stopped and began fishing the giant got even more worried, Thor used the oxhead as bait and the anchor as hook and the giant began to realize what this was all about.

Thor tossed the bait into the sea and held strictly onto the anchor-rope. After a while Thor felt that he had got something caught on the rope, he began to pull in his catching that were the Midgard serpent. Thor pulled as hard as he could, braiced himself against the rail and flooring. He pulled so hard that his foot went right trough the boats bottom.

Finaly Thor got the serpent up to the surfice, he started to swing his hammer Mjölner to crush the serpents head, right between the eyes. The horrified gient then took his knife and cut the rope. The Midgard serpent sank back down to the deep and thor became furious, he hit Hymer so hard that he fell over board. Hymer had to swim all the way back to Jotunheim, where the gients live.

Thor: The god of thunder and lightning in nordic mythology.
The Midgard serpent: A beast of the nordic mythology that lies in a ring around the hole world.

The original of this story is a bit longer and today it exists in at least two versions. During the viking age it must have been a very popular story because it has been carved onto a couple of runestones. The part of the story that I have carved has not been seen on a runestone until now.


Uppdaterad 14 september, 2006 av Kalle Runristare All rights reserved, ©